I grew up in Alabama on the Gulf Coast and had the pleasure to be obsessed with the water and fishing. Some of my most enjoyable moments were spent near, on, or in the water of my favorite estuary. I was either fishing, reading, in deep discussion, or simply being a teenager with my close group of friends. I began to realize at an early age that these experiences can be remarkably healing. I draw inspiration for my work from observing and being in nature.
Have you ever noticed that almost any issue is easier to work through while walking on the beach or being near water? I am more focused, present, and able to reflect on what actually matters when I am on the water. When I go for a walk on the beach with something emotionally challenging, the discomfort and uncertainty are easier to manage and I can always find the next step. Going to counseling has helped me work through life’s difficulties in a similar way.
When my life was turned upside down by a sudden loss, I knew that I needed to spend time near the water and close to nature with supportive people around me. So, I took an opportunity to live, work, play, and finish graduate school in Hawai'i. And I went to counseling!
Getting the help I needed, taking risks and throwing myself into life, embracing all the ups and downs, it all really helped when I needed it most.
I hope that I can offer the same support and encouragement for you.
Estuaries are like Counseling
I chose “estuary” for the name of my practice because estuaries, including the low country salt marshes that we all know and love, remind me of what we actually do while in counseling. An estuary is like a dialogue between the land and the sea where something entirely new is created. Counseling too is very much a dialogue between two elements, in this case the counselor and client, where something entirely new is created. What is this new third thing exactly?
It is the therapeutic relationship. We get to create this unique and professional relationship through a dialogue about your life and experiences. In counseling you learn to have a more helpful dialogue with yourself, and I think that we all need some level of support and encouragement to engage in a productive dialogue with ourselves.